Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Atlantic and Cape May Counties and its trained volunteers speak on behalf of abused and neglected children in the foster care system and are dedicated to ensuring these children are placed in safe permanent homes as quickly as possible.
Eighteen years ago, we began a journey to help every child living in foster care feel safe, loved and placed in a permanent home. We started with a $30,000 grant from the National CASA Association, five CASA volunteers and one staff person in July of 2001. By June of the same year, we had served 30 children.
Today, thanks to our 298 volunteers and countless supporters, we have reached a milestone of providing an advocate to nearly every child in care who needs one! For the second year in a row, 94% of all new cases that came before our family courts had a CASA volunteer assigned. In 2019 fiscal year, CASA volunteers advocated for 681 children living in foster care and helped facilitate a permanent home for 273 of those children.
Unfortunately, reaching this milestone does not mean that our work is done. Each year we need to meet the needs of approximately 300 new children entering the system. We must enhance our advocacy services to ensure that each child has the tools that they need to become a productive adult.
CASA Success Story
CASA youth Jarrod approached his 18th birthday without a home. His CASA volunteer encouraged him to stay in care until 21 so he could receive continued assistance. Taking his advice, Jarrod stayed in foster care and with his CASA’s assistance, entered college. Jarrod is now a junior, studying video production.